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Will tape BULK ERASER erase a dead HD?

Posted on 2010-08-28
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I have an unusable / dead hard drive. It is under warranty. I must return the defective drive. I do not want to leave my data on it naturally. I have a HEAVY DUTY a.c. operated bulk tape eraser that will completely wipe clean any audio tape or any video tape. I am wondering if I apply it to the exterior of my defective hard drive if it will erase the data? PLEASE ONLY ANSWER this question if you are 95% or more SURE that your answer is correct. I have my own opinion, but it is not based on fact. I need to be sure on this as most people would also be.
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Question by:Need-a-Clue
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Lee W, MVP earned 225 total points
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Most of the third paragraph from http://www.pcworld.com/article/116572/busting_the_biggest_pc_myths.html
"The only magnets powerful enough to scrub data from a drive platter are laboratory degaussers or those used by government agencies to wipe bits off media. "In the real world, people are not losing data from magnets," says Bill Rudock, a tech-support engineer with hard-drive maker Seagate. "In every disk," notes Rudock, "there's one heck of a magnet that swings the head.""

If the data is that sensitive you can't afford to have it even looked at accidentally, to heck with your warranty.  Hard Drives are $40-80 for most sizes up to 1 TB.  Just get a new one.
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by:Dave Baldwin
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Here's an article that says it won't work: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hardware/erasing-hard-drives/386  And here's a company that makes machine that will do it: http://www.datadev.com/degausser-hard-drive-data-security-erase.html  You don't want one of those in your house.  There is a reason that the 'remote control' is usable from 45 feet away...

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by:rindi
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If it is strong enough and the magnetic field can pass the metal case of the drive, then yes, but since tapes usually only have plastic cases you don't need a very strong degausser for them, so it is possible that it isn't strong enough for an HD.
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by:Need-a-Clue
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THANKS EVERYONE! Looks like I'll have to dig up another solution. Your research is appreciated. I WOULD buy  a new one BUT Dell wants their OWN drive back OR they charge incredibly inflated prices.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Soo... tell Dell forget it.  And go to newegg.com and buy a new drive.  They won't replace the existing one, but you won't have to worry about problems.
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by:rindi
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Or bore holes into the drive, or open it and scratch the surfaces of the platters, then send them back.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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No, then they'll claim the drive was ruined by you and then charge you for it.
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by:connelth
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The Sage is 100% correct (>95%). Physical destruction is the only way and is also the norm for regulated industries and the fact there are commercial entities that offer, at a price,  physical destruction of hard drives, tapes etc. is a testimonial to the above. You cannot count on anything else. Nothing.
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